Making Sense of the Injury Report – Week 1

Cam Newton: Recent reports state that Newton is unlikely to play today. Yet even if he does, I wouldn’t feel confident starting Cam on my fantasy team. Some possible replacements for week 1 include Carson Palmer, Alex Smith, and Ben Roethlisberger (all with favorable matchups). VERDICT: SIT.

Screen Shot 2014-03-25 at 8.54.39 PM

Rob Gronkowski: Gronk will definitely play this week, but reports are that he will only see limited snaps. This is a smart play for the Patriots as they need Gronk healthy for an entire 16 game season, but also a disappointing outcome for your fantasy team. However, chances are that if you spent a high pick on the Patriots TE then you don’t have a quality backup. Most of Gronk’s snaps will come in the redzone today which increases his likelihood of a touchdown and that’s an important quality for a Tight End. I could easily see Gronk catching only three passes but one of them in the endzone. It really depends on who you’re backup is, but I’m rolling the dice with Gronkowski this week. VERDICT: START.

Andre Ellington: This one is tricky because Ellington plays Monday Night. He’s officially questionable for the game but it’s not looking good with a nasty foot injury. Even if he does play, I expect it to be in a limited role. Since it’s a Monday Night game, don’t risk losing out on someone playing today. Some possible replacements include Jonathan Dwyer, Mark Ingram, and Shonn Greene (not exactly inspiring options, I know). VERDICT: SIT.

Michael Crabtree: The 49ers top receiver is questionable for their game against Dallas this afternoon with a calf injury. While Crabtree has a somewhat extensive recent injury history, I believe he is a no-brainer starter this week in fantasy. The Niners-Cowboys game is going to be a shootout which means a ton of points for Michael. You don’t want to lose out on that production by being too cautious. VERDICT: START.

INACTIVES: Cecil Shorts III, Kenny Stills, Aaron Dobson, Garrett Graham